Thursday, June 22, 2006

What's the worst that could happen?

I notice that another person's online life has fucked up their "real world" existence. A Texan schoolteacher by the name of Tamara Hoover lost her job because their were topless photos of her on Flickr. Pretty dumb thing to do (IMHO) but still, she was topless, not on her knees fucking the school football team. I have to admit, if I was her I wouldn't want to go back to teaching knowing that all the students and staff have now had an opportunity to check out her norks.

It has been suggested to me that this blog could have a negative impact on me and it isn't as if I haven't considered the possibility. For those who haven't guessed (or read what I've posted) the mask is a half-arsed attempt to obscure my identity. Anybody who knows me would recognise me instantly so I'm not sure why I bother. At least random strangers wouldn't recognise me.

I have also been very careful to keep truly personal content to a minimum and obscure the facts a bit when I talk about work. The one that could "out" me is Moroccan Chocolate because I actually used that analogy at work and I think I'm currently the #1 Google result for "Moroccan Chocolate". The IT job market in Melbourne is small, incestuous and conservative. If it became generally known I was a blogger it might make people paranoid to hire me so I'm keeping things pseudo-anonymous. I have to face facts that this will inevitably come up one day so I have made the following decision (see if I stick to it when the crunch comes):

Blogging has opened up so many options to me I am not giving it up. I would give up a job before giving up my blog. At the moment, I am making what is to me a shitload of money. I'm worth it (based on the job market and my experience) bit it's still way more than I ever thought I'd be making. I'm essentially a simple country boy. To get top dollar I have to fight pretty hard and this is where I could face trouble. If I was up against someone of similar experience for a role and they knew I was a blogger who hangs shit on people and the other candidate wasn't, I think many employers would go with the other one.

If all the contract agencies gossiped together and decided I was a risk for high profile jobs, my response would be "fuck you in the neck" if you think I'm knuckling under. I could take a 50% pay cut and still be earning more than people who do way harder work. And if I cut my rate, I'd be competing with graduates and other inexperienced candidates so I think employers would be likely to overlook the blog risk because they'd be getting me at a bargain rate. And I'd get some notoriety for being the latest victim of offline persecution for online activities which would give my blog more of the attention I so desperately crave.

So my pledge to readers is: I intend to keep blogging no matter what. And any fucker thinks they can fuck with me has no fucking idea who they're fucking with!


Michelle said...

You tell em!

I'm not anonymous at all, but I don't hold any position that would be threatened by anyone finding out about it. The only problem I had was some personal friends that new about my blog who I thought had no interest in ever reading it saw some things I read and got a bit miffed, but only slightly, so now I don't write so much personal stuff and if I do I make it vague.

I believe that Tamara Hoover didn't post those photos herself, but a friend did, who presumably is not a teacher and perhaps didn't realise that this could ever create a problem for her. And that another teacher got a student to bring up the photos in class, which is how she got in trouble. If anything is inappropriate in a school, I would think that is.

pigeon weather said...

When I was recently changing jobs, I did go through and remove most of what I'd written specifically about the ex-job - people do searches all the time and I considered that a potential new employer might be put off by someone dissing their current company! maybe i was a little paranoid, but recently a publisher found a story i'd put in a writer's forum online and considered not publishing it himself because of that.

Mr Angry said...

At the end of the day I guess you can't post anything you're not prepared to stand by. I essentially decided to minimise my exposure but I've also been careful not to do anything too stupidly incriminating online.